Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Your Gospel is Too Broad

Over at Church Matters Greg Gilbert posts an important critique of the "gospel" proposed by N.T. Wright and endorsed by Scot McKnight.

Greg writes:

Like many others, Scot has been advocating recently for a "broader" gospel than what I have called "The Gospel of the Cross," and this post, I think, is in the same vein. Scot quotes two different statements of the Christian gospel, one by N.T. Wright and the other by an unnamed, unlinked, "slightly edited" someone. I think it's safe to say that Scot's hope is that we will all choose Wright's version of the gospel, rather than the other one.

My own opinion, written about here, here, and here, is actually that neither of the two options Scot lays out is a sufficient explanation of the biblical gospel. On the one hand, I think it's probably inaccurate to say that the gospel (broadly considered, which it sometimes is in the NT) doesn't include the proclamation of the kingdom, the promise of resurrection, the promise of Christ's return, and many other promises. But on the other hand, I also think that what McKnight quotes here from Wright is also woefully insufficient, and indeed not good news at all. Here's what he quotes from Wright:
My proposal has been that 'the gospel' is not, for Paul, a message about 'how one gets saved', in an individual and ahistorical sense. It is a fourfold announcement about Jesus:
1. In Jesus of Nazareth, specifically in his cross, the decisive victory has been won over all the powers of evil, including sin and death themselves.
2. In Jesus' resurrection the New Age has dawned, inaugurating the long-awaited time when the prophecies would be fulfilled, when Israel's exile would be over, and the whole world would be addressed by the one creator God.
3. The crucified and risen Jesus was, all along, Israel's Messiah, her representative king.
4. Jesus was therefore also the Lord, the true king of the world, the one at whose name every knee would bow.

Click HERE to read Greg's important critique of this definition of the Gospel.

1 comment:

Denise said...

Interesting post....thanks for putting it up there.

Denise
dmalagari.wordpress.com